Paper published: Evidence of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in cats and dogs

Published on

White male sat on living room stroking Golden Retriever and smiling

Back in July, research investigating the effect of COVID-19 on pets was carried out involving researchers from University of Bari in Italy, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and SAVSNET_Agile at University of Liverpool. Due to the fast pace required for research into COVID-19, preliminary findings were published in BioRxiv in July.  Since then, research has continued to be carried out and the full publication based on this work has now been peer reviewed and published in Nature Communications.  No animals tested PCR positive. However, 3.3% of dogs and 5.8% of cats had measurable SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody titers. Dogs from COVID-19 positive households were significantly more likely to test positive. 

Whilst this paper suggests pet infection can occur,  it appears uncommon, and the vast majority of people that get SARS-COV2 will get it from other people, not animals. There are simple guidelines available to minimise the risk of transmission between pets and their owners such as from the OIE, and in the UK, the British Veterinary Association.

Access the full paper published in Nature Communications here

Access the updated infographic here